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Egypt and Israel 227
not mean to say, however, that attempts were not made to
assert that influence. About twenty-five years or so after She-
shonk's victory we read in 2 Chron. xiv. 9-15 (8-14 in Hebr.)
that in the reign of Asa, king of Judah, Zerah1 the Ethiopian
invaded the land; a battle is fought cin the valley of Zephathah
at Mareshah', at which the Ethiopians were defeated, *and Asa
and the people that were with him pursued them unto
Gerar .. /. Doubts have been cast, not without some reason,
on the identification of Kush with Ethiopia (in southern Egypt),
as it is held (though this is not certain) that there was a Kush
in Arabia; it must, however, be noted that the flight of these
Ethiopians south-westwards to Gerar points to the shortest
route into Egypt; moreover, in 2 Chron. xvi. 8, where this
battle is referred to, the Lubim (Libyans) are mentioned
together with the Ethiopians; and further, there are a number
of passages in which Kush is quite clearly to be identified with
Ethiopia (e.g. 2 Kings xiz. 9; Isa. xi. 11, xliii. 3; dv. 14; Zeph. iii.
10, and others). So that the passage referred to (2 Chron. adv.
9-15) certainly seems to point to an invasion from Egypt which
was repulsed. The date of this would be a little before 900 B.C.
Soon after this the reinvigorated power of Assyria began to
assert itself, with momentous consequences for Syria-Palestine.
The movement westwards was begun by Ashurnasirpal II (889-
859 B.C.), who invaded Syria and subdued various north-Syrian
States; he also received tribute from important Phoenician
coastal towns, such as Byblus, Tyre, and Sidon. His successor,
Shalmaneser III,2 similarly came westwards with the intention
of reducing the whole of the Mediterranean coast-land of
Syria-Palestine. In the sixth year of his reign there was fought
the important, but indecisive battle of Qarkar on the Orontes
(853 B.C.), where he was opposed by a coalition of western
1 His identification with Osorkon I is very doubtful.
2 According to Winckler, Shalmaneser II, Ksilinscbrifdicbes Textbucb mm
Alien Testament, L 18 (1909).